Babyworm exodus from worm bin

by Sara

Hi


I will try to keep this short...We have a somewhat new worm bin (11 weeks), rocky start, took it back two weeks later to the composter that gave us the worms ... We were too cautious and they were just escaping because they were hungry. After that they have been doing marvelous, we saw lots of cocoons starting from like week 5. No smell, quick turnover, no escaping, happy looking worms ... Then about three weeks ago the babyboom started to happen ... Soooo many baby worms (not potworms, they do have the pink hue) ... And then they started climbing the walls relentlessly ... Otherwise nothing seemed off about the bin (no smells, no todler-adult worms escaping, no sick looking worms ...) just the babyworms escaping. We tried all kinds of things: light doesn't help much -- we have been frequently adding more (bedding and) food then we used to for the last two weeks; given the population rise, we thought they also just might be hungry, but the bin is starting to get wet and slightly smelly (it might just be the sheer amount of food) and there is still just as many babies climbing so I'm starting to worry about overfeeding since the last two days I have spotted a couple of larger worms wandering --- creating a barrier layer of either fresh food or cardboard on top helps a
bit, but given the unstable and rather wet (no leachate, just on the wetter side) current environment I like to dig around a bit, and once the layer is broken, the climbing returns right away (we have been digging every few days from the start, and it really doesn't seem to upset them)

there is not really food accumulating (bedding, herbs and root vegetable ends take a bit longer than peels and softer foods, but the latter kind is gone in a few days still) but it's also not like they don't have food, there's a continuous buffet of slower to digest stuff and new food at least every two days ... So, any ideas what is going on? Are these babies just plain old stupid? And what could we do about it? Because prying baby worms out of the cloth under the lid is getting old. (we had a red larvae issue before, hence why I don't want to remove the cloth again) and I don't want them all over our kitchen ...

thanx in advance, we're really out of ideas, but don't want to give up because not having to throw so much greens into the trash has really been such a joy, and the worms seem otherwise happy, it is just such a nuisance to keep putting these babies back, and they are so fragile we end up killing some too :/

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Oct 07, 2019
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Re: Babyworm exodus from worm bin
by: Stephan

Hello Sara,

thank you for your very interesting message. Before I get deeper into the questions you raised, please tell me what type of compost worms did you get with your worm farm. Some of the most popular worms used in worm farms are "Eisenia fetida" and Eisenia hortensis" Although they can both be used in worms farms they have a few different behavior patterns and it will make it easier to get to the bottom of your worm composting problems.

Once I got your answer I can go into more detail.

Kind regards

Stephan Kloppert

Author of "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget"

Editor of www.worm-composting-help.com

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